Winnipeg parents eager for Monday's opening of COVID-19 vaccination slots for kids ages 5 to 11
Health Canada approved the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11 on Friday, and the province said starting Monday at 6:00 a.m., parents can book appointments for their kids to get the shot.
It's good news for Manitobans like Cara Windle, who plans to make an appointment to get her daughter Sophie on the path to being fully vaccinated.
"We've been waiting a long time, (we're) really excited. We'll be setting our alarm for 5:55 a.m. to make sure we get her in as soon as we're able," she said.
Windle, her husband and their 14-year-old son are all fully vaccinated. Their daughter Sophie said she's ready to get her shot too.
"I have type one diabetes," said Sophie. "It'll definitely be reassuring to have the (vaccine)."
The Windles aren't the only family planning to get everyone fully vaccinated. Dave Thomas will be booking an appointment for his 7-year-old son Emmett Monday morning as well.
"Getting the kids back to a more normal school environment is my number one priority," said Thomas.
"Getting our numbers down in Manitoba to the point where the rest of us can get back to normal is number two for me."
Manitoba's Vaccine Implementation Task Force said vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11 will be available at Pharmacies, Physician Clinics, Urban Indigenous Clinics, and Vaccine Clinics so kids can get their doses as easily as possible.
On Thursday, Medical Lead Dr. Joss Reimer said the province has already been preparing the logistics for the vaccine rollout.
"We want to be ready in Manitoba so that when the vaccine arrives here, we can start shipping it to locations and administering it to 5 to 11-year-olds as soon as it arrives in the province."
First appointments are expected to be available as early as next week.
Thomas hopes one day his son can learn in an environment that's mask-free.
"Can't wait," he said. "If I could be first in line, I would be."
Cara said getting kids 5 to 11 vaccinated is important, not just for the kids but for everyone around them.
"It's not just about you. It's about your kids. It's about parents. It's about older people. We all have a duty in society, I think, to protect the most vulnerable."
Manitobans can book a vaccine appointment on the provincial website or by calling 1-844-626-8222.